Golden future for Raheen

Peter Moody’s outstanding sprinter Golden Archer has been purchased to stand at Raheen Stud in Queensland.

Moody retired Golden Archer after the flying sprinter was galloped on during the G1 The Galaxy (1100m).  “The injury wasn’t severe, however, we decided the time was right,” Moody explained.  “Golden Archer has been great for our team.  Only Black Caviar has won more black type races for the stable in the last couple of years.”

Golden Archer was a precocious colt winning juvenile stakes races at Flemington and Moonee Valley and he trained on to win the G3 McNeil Stakes at three and LR The Heath 1100 as a four year-old at Caulfield.

He was part of a ground-breaking Group 1 trifecta for Moody in this year’s Lightning Stakes when Black Caviar broke the 1000 metre track-record at Flemington.  She clocked 55.42 seconds down the straight course and stablemates Moment Of Change (Barely A Moment) and Golden Archer (Rock Of Gibraltar) also ran time chasing the champion mare home.

In another vote of confidence, Moody will stay in Golden Archer at stud.  Even at the height of Black Caviar hysteria, he still found time for his other stable favourite.  “Golden Archer is just a professional racehorse.  A tremendous horse.  He’s done very little wrong throughout his career.”

Moody had flexed his juvenile muscle with a strong two year-old team in 2010-11.  By the time Golden Archer made his debut in the Western Health Sponsors Plate (1100m) at Flemington in December, Moody had already sent a half-dozen youngsters to the races.

The strapping colt had admirers on debut and Luke Nolen allowed him to quickly stride up alongside Darley colt Ardennais.  Asked to extend, Golden Archer dropped the leader and cleared out to a comprehensive two length victory.

“He’s the best youngster of the large number to have passed through to stable to date,” stable manager Jeff O’Connor said.  “He’s been the benchmark for our two-year-olds at home and he has brought that here on raceday.”

Golden Archer was just as impressive next time out on Boxing Day winning up front by another couple of lengths at Caulfield.  “He’s still having a look around,” Moody said.  “And Luke knew there was no value trying to gap them.”

After a placing to champion colt Sepoy in a LR Blue Diamond Preview, Golden Archer was a class above his rivals in the LR Gold Sovereign Stakes.  Nolan praised the colt after his win over gallant filly Triple Asset in Tasmania.  “He was never comfortable in the going,” Nolan claimed.  “He won it on raw ability and that says a lot for his character.”

The trip away toughened up the Caulfield colt and that was evident when he repelled several closers in a five-way finish to the LR Festival Of Racing Stakes at Flemington.  A fortnight later, he made it five wins from six starts in the LR St Albans Stakes at Moonee Valley.

The St Albans has been the launching-pad for stallions like Bel Esprit, Oratorio (Aus) and All American since the turn of the century.  The victory also helped Moody win a $130,000 Mercedes-Benz after his team amassed more than $1 million in prizemoney during the Moonee Valley night season.

The pressure was on Golden Archer to reproduce his scintillating juvenile form as a three year-old and he responded with a gutsy second to Sepoy in the LR Vain Stakes at Caulfield.  Moody wasn’t offering any excuses but he did report the colt had lost a plate in running.

Second-up, he overcame a check at the start to win the G3 HDF McNeil Stakes at Caulfield.  “You would love a stable full of horses like him,” Moody said.  “He could come back for the G1 Rupert Clarke Stakes or we might butt heads with Sepoy again at weight-for-age.”

A spelling paddock accident sidelined Golden Archer for the rest of the season but he was just as effective as a four year-old winning the LR The Heath 1100 last September.  “Before the injury, I had him lined up for a trip to England – that’s how highly I rate him,” Moody stated.  “’I think he’s in the top half-dozen sprinters in the country.”

Golden Archer followed up with a game second to Buffering in the G2 Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield and returned this year to play his part in that stable shut-out in the G1 Lightning Stakes.

Golden Archer (Rock Of Gibraltar – Viennetta by Pins) represents the Danehill sireline and is one of 82 stakes winners world-wide by Rock Of Gibraltar.  Among them is prominent Australian first-season sire Murtajill.  His NZ bred dam Viennetta was a Group 2 winner at Ellerslie and she is related to Moody’s G1 Caulfield Guineas winner Anacheeva.

Randwick Bloodstock’s Brett Howard brokered the deal with Raheen and he believes Golden Archer meets all the criteria for a sire prospect.  “He’s a particularly good looking stallion and his yearlings will be well received in the sales ring,” he predicted.  “He was a very good sprinter – fast, strong and tough – and he showed good form as a two and three year-old.”

Raheen will stand Golden Archer for a $6,600 (inc gst) service fee in 2013.  For further details, broodmare owners can call studmaster Basil Nolan on (07) 4666 1172 or 0407 140 711 and Basil Nolan jnr on 0407 162 296.

– Karl Patterson